Steven Greenhut

Steven Greenhut is a senior fellow and Western region director for the R Street Institute. His political views do not reflect the views of the institute.


California Aborting Free-Speech Rights


Sacramento In signing a bill that criminalizes the distribution of a “confidential” video of a “health-care provider,” Gov. Jerry Brown has at least dispensed with the notion that California’s Democratic leadership cares at all about free-speech rights. The new law, which could lead to jail time for violators, is the latest troubling example of how […]

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Teams Kneel at the Altar of Tax Subsidies


Sacramento The debate over standing for the national anthem is back on center stage this week, now that San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick has been given the greenlight to start the game when his team kicks off at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara. The whole thing is annoying. One of the few things worse […]

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At What Point Is California a Lost Cause?


Sacramento A pseudonymous writer named Decius sparked a debate throughout the conservative media with his argument that this presidential election echoes “Flight 93” — the aircraft that crashed in a Pennsylvania field during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. In his view, voters are like that flight’s passengers. We can rush the cockpit and maybe give […]

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California’s Moral Superiority Complex


Sacramento I was drinking a beer recently in a bar in a small northern California town when a woman came in and demanded to know if any of the people sitting there owned a pickup truck parked out front. There was a dog inside it, sweltering in the 100-plus-degree Central Valley heat. She was going […]

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Suddenly, a Shifting Pension Paradigm?


Sacramento Last month, I wrote a dour column for the Spectator doubting that a significant new appeals court decision in a major pension case would ultimately change the financial trajectory of our state’s pension systems. Bottom line: A court finally agreed that oversized pensions for public-sector workers could be cut going forward, just as is […]

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They’ll Never Learn: Liberal Policies Boost Poverty


Sacramento I was perusing the real-estate listings for Palo Alto, California, and spotted a stylish, remodeled midcentury ranch house with a whopping 1,700 square feet on a postage-stamp lot for a mere $2.6 million. What a deal! There are great jobs all around that lovely Bay Area city, the heart of Silicon Valley and home […]

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PC Segregation Still on the Rise


It’s the start of new school year, so it’s time to hear bizarre stories from the nation’s universities — those politically correct hothouses where seemingly intelligent people enforce rules that appear to have been designed in an insane asylum. After university officials issue their statements and denials, the matter fades from the front pages. But […]

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Jerry Brown Dirties the Climate


Sacramento Gov. Jerry Brown received some media attention last week after he left an angry message on Fresno County Sheriff Margaret Mims’ voicemail. Angry that Mims had signed a mailer opposing his measure (Proposition 57) to make it easier for “nonviolent” criminals to receive parole, Brown accused her of using “scare tactics that I think […]

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Will Appeals Ruling Sober Up State’s Pension Abusers?


Sacramento California’s hardy band of pension reformers show many of the symptoms of “battered spouse syndrome.” No matter how often they are beaten and ridiculed, they cling to hope. Maybe this time, the state will get its act together and reform a system of profiteering that’s threatening our fiscal future. I’ve heard them say as […]

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Shock: Legislature Does Right Thing on a Liberty Issue!


Sacramento Our left-leaning Legislature isn’t exactly known for its commitment to protecting the constitutional liberties of the citizenry, which is an understatement of great magnitude. When I speak to civic groups about the state Capitol, I often refer to those “scared straight” programs where police take “at risk” youth to prisons to scare them away […]

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